Hastings Old Town Parish

One Modern Parish, Two Medieval Churches

Hastings Old Town Parish

One Modern Parish, Two Medieval Churches

Hastings Old Town Parish

One Modern Parish, Two Medieval Churches

‘Love was his meaning’: a conversation about Julian of Norwich between Dr Claire Gilbert and Fr Eamonn Monson

651 years ago, the woman mystic and writer Julian had 16 visions which showed her a God of unquenchable love and a Christ who was like a mother.  They were dangerous visions for their day, for they did not reflect church teaching, and the church was actively persecuting heretics.  Julian entered an anchor hold, bricked up for the rest of her life in a room attached to the church of St Julian in Norwich where, in a ‘room of her own’ she could safely reflect on her visions and pen the great text Revelations of Divine Love.
Claire Gilbert wrote her doctoral thesis on Julian in relation to the ecological crisis, but when she was diagnosed with myeloma, a cancer of the blood, Julian stopped being the subject of her academic study and became her spiritual companion and guide through two and a half years of gruelling treatment.  Claire wrote about this in letters to friends, published as Miles to Go Before I Sleep.  At the end of the treatment she heard a call to tell Julian’s story and wrote I, Julian, a fictional autobiography which seeks to do justice to this extraordinary woman’s life.
Fr Eamonn was a great influence on both Claire’s books.

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